Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at whether a type of protein in your body can affect your response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy (PAGE)
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
This study was to see if there was a link between the body’s ability to repair its damaged cells, and how it responded to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A cell becomes cancerous when the genetic instructions (DNA) inside its control centre (
Radiotherapy, and some chemotherapy, works by damaging DNA so that the cell can’t divide anymore. But these treatments can also damage DNA in healthy cells. This is why people may have side effects such as hair loss with chemotherapy, or sore skin with radiotherapy.
Some cells use a protein (‘enzyme’) called ‘PARP 1’ to help repair their damaged DNA. This may mean that the cell can survive anti cancer therapy. It may also affect the side effects people have, or how well treatment works. People have different levels of the PARP 1 enzyme. Researchers looked at the level of PARP 1 before the start of treatment. They also looked at blood and tissue samples. They linked the level of enzyme found to information about people’s treatment and any side effects they may have had.
The aim of this study was to see if there was a link between PARP 1 levels, chemotherapy and radiotherapy side effects.
Summary of results
The study team found that the level of the PARP 1 enzyme did not affect side effects of treatment.
This study recruited 56 healthy volunteers and 118 people with cancer. The researchers took a blood sample from each person.
They looked at the level of PARP 1 in each sample. They also looked at the side effects of treatment.
The study team concluded that there was no link between the level of the PARP 1 enzyme and the side effects of treatment.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Ruth Plummer
Association for International Cancer Research (AICR)
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Northern Institute for Cancer Research